Photo: Brigit Arop, Eglė Agne Benkunskytė and Lukas Strolia
The partners of the Borderland Poetics announce the participants of the assistant exchange programme 2021: Brigit Arop, Eglė Agne Benkunskytė and Lukas Strolia. The participants were selected via an open call that received 31 applications from Estonia, Lithuania and Iceland. The participants were selected by the team members of the events they would start working for.
The project assistant positions are an opportunity for students or recent graduates to gain 1 or 2 month long first-hand work experience and contribute to preparing and producing a major art event. This is a paid opportunity that promotes cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries. The programme is coordinated by partners of the Borderland Poetics Research Programme – the Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art, The Icelandic Art Centre, Rupert – centre for arts, residencies and education.
Lukas Strolia is an artist, curator, project/production manager, researcher, and art handler who starts the position at Icelandic Art Center. He graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts (Contemporary Sculpture studies) in 2021. Lukas was co-running an artist-run space Autarkia, Vilnius, as a junior curator and project manager (2019-2022 August). He is part of the team of Gut Feeling, Lithuanian Pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 22’, involved in its activities as a production manager, researcher and art handler.
Lukas is interested in political and social contexts of contemporary art, contemporaneity, social media, augmented and virtual reality, its aesthetics, and issues. He is connecting these topics and expressing himself by experimenting with various media, such as installations, performative actions, texts, organisational and curatorial activities.
Lukas chose the Icelandic Art Centre because he believes he can widen his expertise by collaborating and observing how the team of this multi-complex institution plans day-to-day tasks and larger projects. Also, how they strategize and respond to the emerging needs of today’s art community. “It is an ideal moment to take this adventure, expand my network, get to know the local Icelandic art scene, its culture and environment,” he says.
Brigit Arop will start working in Rupert residency in Vilnius. She is a freelancer multitasker, with background in semiotics, based in Tallinn who mainly curates, writes, assists and works nightshifts. She is interested in art practices in wide forms – using poetry, working with materials and humour in order to shift fixed values. Arop has graduated the semiotics and cultural theory BA studies in Tartu University, right now she is studying in the Estonian Academy of Art, curating MA. Her has curated project was apartment exhibition “Wet Hearts of Everyday Thoughts” (2021, Gallery Mihhail).
Brigit Arop says she applied for the position as she has been following Rupert’s activities for some time and she wanted to experience the daily life of the institution while working with the programme. She also wants to use the opportunity to get to know Vilnius art scene better and hopes that this project will support her practice as curator, while also providing some necessary deviations.
Eglė Agne Benkunskytė has recently graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and curatorship. Parallel to her studies, she has worked as a coordinator at the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association (2022) and at the first Mental Health Arts Festival “Bonds” (2021), as a gallery assistant at the Lithuanian Artists’ Union Gallery (2018–21), and as a producer’s assistant at the 58th Venice Biennale in the Lithuanian Pavilion Sun and Sea (Marina, 2018–19). In 2020, she interned at the project space Editorial and Artnews.lt. In 2018, she completed a curatorial internship at the Rupert Centre for Art, Residency, and Education. Her interests revolve around contemporary art, technologies, science, and how this entangled relationship influences the imagination of the future.
Realizing that her knowledge of the Baltic region is rather limited, she embraced the opportunity to work with ECCA, hoping and wishing to learn more about Estonian art scene. She looks at this as an opportunity to question where locality ends and globality begins.
The programme is coordinated by partners of the Borderland Poetics Research Programme – the Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art, The Icelandic Art Centre, Rupert – centre for arts, residencies and education. The Borderland Poetics is a 3-year long network to promote cooperation between Estonian, Icelandic and Lithuanian art scenes. The title is a reference to an exhibition “Border Poetics”, curated by Estonian curator Eha Komissarov in 2018.
The programme is supported by the Nordic Culture Point.